Marshall Thundering Herd College Football Preview 2021: Defense
– All new defensive coordinator Lance Guidry has to do is keep the best D in the league rolling. The Thundering Herd were second in the nation allowing just 279 yards per game and No. 1 in the country in scoring D, giving up just 13 points per game.
No one could run on this group – it allowed 96 yards per game – and allowed more than 17 points just once in the 22-13 Conference USA title loss to UAB. With eight starters expected to return, don’t expect much of a drop-off, if any.
– The linebacking corps lost two-time leading tackler and star Tavante Beckett from the linebacking corps, but 240-pound Eli Neal is a good, big-hitter who’ll work in the middle again after finishing second on the team with 75 tackles with five tackles for loss and Abraham Beauplan is a nice veteran on the outside. The safety-sized Beckett was the main man, but this group will still be strong.
Darius Hodge was the star pass rusher from the front four, but he’s done. The rest of the line returns around 270-pound All-Conference USA tackle Jamare Edwards – this group was a rock against the run. There’s not a lot of bulk, but there’s plenty of depth for the rotation.
– The secondary doesn’t have veteran safety Derek Pitts around – he left for NC State – but senior Brandon Drayton is a good tackler who can handle an even bigger role.
There weren’t a whole lot of picks from the secondary, but safety Nazeeh Johnson led the way with two, and Steven Gilmore is an all-star corner who might be the team’s best player.6.